Money and mnemotechnics
Jon Roffe (University of New South Wales)

September 21, 2016, 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Philosophy program, La Trobe University

LBS Meeting Room 362a (Martin Building, Level 3, Room 362a)
Plenty Road & Kingsbury Drive
Melbourne 3086



It is broadly agreed that money plays three key roles: as a means of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account. Depending on a variety of other presuppositions, however, which of these functions is taken to be primary differs a great deal.

The goal of this paper is to consider a necessary condition for any use of money that is rarely the object of economic thought, namely the form of social memory in which the inscription of monetary activity is inscribed. The importance of this condition is particularly prominent in new digital forms of currency, such as Bitcoin, and the blockchain protocol that it makes use of.

I will consider this problematic in light of Nietzsche’s analysis of memory in the second Essay of the Genealogy of Morals, which outlines the nature and advent of social memory through just such an act of inscription.


Jon Roffe is a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy at the University of New South Wales. His most recent book, Abstract Market Theory (Palgrave 2015) advances a new philosophy of the market.

Please note: LBS Room 362a is a different seminar room from our normal room but it is in the same building and on the same level (walk past the usual room and keep going until you see LBS at the very end of the corridor)

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